Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Sword typology and Edge Weapons forms of the Chinese Empire and related cultures with an emphasis on their relationship to Swordsmanship.

Moderators: Scott M. Rodell, Philip Tom

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:25 pm

Just got back my Ming dynasty reproduction jian fittings from having them gold plated:

Close-up - Image

Image

These were discussed in a prior post, viewtopic.php?f=15&t=901&p=5181&hilit=m ... gold#p5181.

These fittings will be going on a custom jian made by US bladesmith, Rick Barrett, and are made of steel and meteorite iron. It took about one year and a half to have the sword made, polished and etched by him and it should be arriving within the week. I'll post the pictures of it soon.

Here is a shot of it prior to it being heat treated:

Image

Nik
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:06 am
Contact:

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Nik » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:16 pm

Are you sure this is a Ming style ?

Tony Mosen
Rank: Yang Chenfu
Rank: Yang Chenfu
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:53 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Tony Mosen » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:48 am

can't wait to see the finished project' nice work..

Aidan O'Brien
Rank: Yang Chenfu
Rank: Yang Chenfu
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:04 am
Contact:

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Aidan O'Brien » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:39 pm

That is a beautiful set of fittings there. Although I must concur with the possibility of them being Ming fittings. They look distinctly Qing to me. That's not to say that they are not gorgeous. Jon showed me an antique with a similar set that made me water at the mouth with desire. I can't wait to see the finished product.

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:43 pm

Here are pictures and dimensions of the blade:

Blade Length: 28.25"/ 71.7cm
Overall Length: 36 3/8" / 92.4 cm
Handle: 8"/20.5 cm
Height @ Guard: 1.5"/3cm
Thickness @ Guard: 3/8"/9mm
Thickness @ Tip: 4mm

Here is the finished meteorite jian with a piece of the smelted meteorite it was made from.

Image

Photo of the handle:
Image

Photo showing the grain of the folds:
Image

Photo of the tip:
Image

Was told this set of fittings were Ming reproductions, so I am going by what I was told.

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:45 pm

Close-up of mokune and wood grains style of the jian: Image
Last edited by bond_fan on Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:57 pm

I just wanted to add the following information Rick told me about the blade I purchased from him:

"This piece was an experiment and I generally don't sign experimentation pieces or prototypes. For one, working in an unknown such as meteoritic [Sic}] iron, the performance variables are unknown and normally the piece would have been left unsigned and tested to destruction. In folding the blade I tried laminating more layers of high carbon steel in the center of the billet, it is not a true san mei construction but rather had more modern steel added to the core area...There was more the 25% meteor used in the billet, closer to 45% mixed with W1 and 1050."

W1 and 1050 are more modern steels.

I was offered this unheat-treated meteorite blade by Rick after ordering a custom twisted pattern jian and bought it, because I had wanted to have a sword made partially of meteorite iron. I saw where Zheng Wu Forge was selling swords on eBay made of meteorite iron for $20K + and thought this iron must be special. However, after discussing the use of meteorite iron with Francis Boyd and I think Scott Rodell, basically this type of iron is inferior to the types found in modern steel and is more of a gimmick. That being said, it still is rather cool to have something extraterrestrial in a terrestrial piece.

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:30 am

I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on which looks better, the brass fittings from the Huanuo mono steel jian or the fittings I had gold plated for my custom Rick Barrett jian pictured above?

Image

Fittings for Huanuo mono steel jian

Image

Gold plated open-work jian fittings.

Tony Mosen
Rank: Yang Chenfu
Rank: Yang Chenfu
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:53 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Tony Mosen » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:14 am

No bites yet'

I'll have a go..

I always liked the Royal Poeny fittings but in my opinion those gold plated open work ones you have there are going to look real slick with a nice beefy handle wrap right up to the guard paired up with a nice dark red rosewood scabbard or the like.

They look chunky too, i've never seen the Royal Poeny fittings up close but it's good to have solid guard fittings, if Rick made a Tunkou (brass collor) for the blade and you had it Nickel plated to match the Meteorite textures in the blade. That would set it off nicely seeing as the guard is quite stout.

looking forward to seeing it completed which ever way you go..

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:44 pm

Thanks Tony. I guess no one else has an opinion?

Anyway I'm still torn, because Rick is also making me a twist-core jian, but my feeling is with his schedule it is at least a year or two away. So then the question becomes do I save the gold fittings for this future blade or use them now for the one I have?

Also, I have another set of the same open-work fittings that were already gold plated, but I am missing the throat piece for the scabbard and one of the scabbard hangers, as they were stolen at a Japanese sword show when I brought them to show a person how I wanted my brass set to be gold plated like the ones that were stolen from me. I was given a gold plated scabbard mount that could be made into a hanger, but I'm still missing the throat piece. If I ever complete that set I can either have them gold-plated or just remove all the gold and leave them brass colored, though it seems to be a waste of gold plating even though one of the hangers and the throat piece if I ever find a single will not match the color of the other gold plated fittings.

Tony Mosen wrote,
I always liked the Royal Poeny fittings but in my opinion those gold plated open work ones you have there are going to look real slick with a nice beefy handle wrap right up to the guard paired up with a nice dark red rosewood scabbard or the like.

They look chunky too, i've never seen the Royal Poeny fittings up close but it's good to have solid guard fittings, if Rick made a Tunkou (brass collor) for the blade and you had it Nickel plated to match the Meteorite textures in the blade. That would set it off nicely seeing as the guard is quite stout.
Rick did not make a Tunkou for the jian, as I had not asked him to. For the scabbard I was thinking some type of dyed ray-skin, red, green or black, with a matching ray-skin handle or perhaps a more historic(?) contrasting white ray-skin handle, with or without the handle wrap you suggested in a blue or gold color?

I wish I could find a photo of the original jian the open-work fittings were copied from to see what the historical version looked like.

Nik
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:06 am
Contact:

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Nik » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:06 am

You have to keep in mind that beefy looking, heavy fittings are exactly that, heavy. It will be impossible to have a sword with a correct dimensions blade weigh in at below 820g, you will end up more like in the +950g region. I don't exactly like the trend of having modern replica jian weight (far) over 1000g which you, as far as I remember from the old sword forum averages discussion from around the late 90s early 00s, have found extremely rarely on jian not meant for ceremony or exhibition - just for the feel of clunky fittings. Heavy old-style furniture of course is nice, but on functional swords, well.

BTW, I agree with Tony, your open-work fittings are far, far nicer in looks, at least to me.

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:42 pm

I was wondering what was the color of the original scabbard and cord wrap for the Qianlong jian that had the typical fittings found on the san mai Huanuo Royal Peony jian were?

I decided to go with the Huanuo fittings and to save the gold plated open-work ones for another project.

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:18 pm

Rodell Laoshi, told me the emporer's scabbards were red with yellow cord to wrap the handles.

Does anyone know where I can buy the kind of cord wrap used for Chinese jian & daos? I'm looking for either the yellow or gold color like the emperor style handle wraps or stone blue color.

Thanks!

bond_fan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:45 am
Location: CA, USA

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:26 am

A sampling of four different colored handle wraps, one to be used on the meteorite jian. Of the four the greenish gold, second from the left seems the most true to images I have seen of Qianlong era swords with red scabbards and the imperial gold handle wrap. This shade looks closer to a sword that would have had the handle gripped more often, where it darkened with the exposure to hand oils and the elements. The three less bright materials seems to be mercerized cotton, while the bright yellow polyester.

The bright yellow, from which the handle wrap was started didn't seem thick enough height wise to be useable:

Image

Nik
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:06 am
Contact:

Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Nik » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:37 am

You should be looking for highest quality cord, not off-the-shelve stuff. The grip feeling should be very well and the wrapping durable, this was not the case with the usual wrapping I got from China. But there are better ones. You can probably take any cord with the right thickness and width, it doesn't have to be "Chinese jian cord wrapping (TM)".

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests